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RAID 0 Data Strip Size / Windows Boot Time?

NinjaNife

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#1
I am trying to figure out how to load Windows 7 faster. In my setup, I have Windows on two WD Black 1TB HDDs running in RAID 0, and a 64KB strip size. Currently, Windows takes two minutes to completely load (from the first time the loading shows after the BIOS until my desktop is finished loading). I had thought that getting a RAID 0 setup would improve my load times, but it would seem that Windows takes longer to load now than before. Could this be due to an incorrect strip size?

The reason I really started to think it may be the strip size is because I started looking into SSDs, since they should be able to load programs and Windows faster. The ones I looked at have around a 250MB/sec transfer rate, so I decided to look at mine. Using "ATTO Disk Benchmark 2.46", I got a rather low score on the initial test but then averaged around 200MB/sec on the rest. I will try to get a pic of the benchmark up soon.

I was quite astonished at my read/write times, since they were close to a SSD, but Windows still loads slowly. Could the seek times be what is causing it to be so slow, or something else?

Thanks for your help.


P.S.
If this should be in the "General Software" section please either move it or let me know and I will re-post (I wasn't sure since it was both a hardware and software question).
 

brandonwh64

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#2
i use 128bit stripe
 

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#3
How fast does Windows load for you? I do have a few programs that load with Windows, but nothing that should slow it down at all..
 

brandonwh64

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#4
Pretty fast, alot more noticeable than one of my WD blue drives
 

NinjaNife

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#5


Here is a pic of my disk benchmark. The last time I did it only the first one was below the 200MB/sec mark. This time was slower, but I have other stuff running so that is probably why.
 

NinjaNife

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#6
Pretty fast, alot more noticeable than one of my WD blue drives
Hmm.. I guess that I will have to reinstall Windows and such in order to change the Data Strip size? Or can that be done without losing my data?
 

brandonwh64

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#7
If you have an intel chipset then you can use intel rapid storage technology software to change it
 

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#8
If you have an intel chipset then you can use intel rapid storage technology software to change it
How do you do this? Since mine is the main system disk, I don't know how it is going to work.. Are you talking about the software or something in the BIOS? The software I have says that the Strip Size can only be changed if you change the volume type, but I don't know if that will work in my case. Any ideas? Thanks for the help.
 

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#9
I have changed the Stripe Size to 128KB, so we will see how it works. Unfortunately I was unable to do it with the installed software, so I ended up cloning my drive onto a backup and then back over after fixing the RAID 0 settings.. Not the best idea, but the fastest in this case (I have 600GB of files on my C drive lol).
 
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#10
maybe you can use partition alignment tool to properly align your partition. i also have same problem few month ago, i have tried different stripe size without significant boot time increase then accidentally read it somewhere in the forum an advice about partition alignment.
Degradation of the disk subsystem performance caused by misaligned partitions is a very old problem. According to http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;929491

This issue may occur if the starting location of the partition is not aligned with a stripe unit boundary in the disk partition that is created on the RAID.

A volume cluster may be created over a stripe unit boundary instead of next to the stripe unit boundary. This is because Windows uses a factor of 512 bytes to create volume clusters. This behavior causes a misaligned partition. Two disk groups are accessed when a single volume cluster is updated on a misaligned partition. Windows creates partitions that are based on a predefined number of sectors. The starting location for a disk partition in Windows Server 2003 is either the 32nd or the 64th sector, depending on the information that is presented to the operating system by the mass storage controller.
 
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#11
stipe size shouldnt have any significant impact on your boot time,

chances are its either fragmented files or random software loading on startup thats slowing it down.
 

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#12
maybe you can use partition alignment tool to properly align your partition. i also have same problem few month ago, i have tried different stripe size without significant boot time increase then accidentally read it somewhere in the forum an advice about partition alignment.
So how do I make sure it is aligned? Can you tell me what a good tool to use is? Thanks for your help.
 
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#13
windows 7 should align any partition correctly the first time.... before you instal windows, i dont see how that could affect anything since its not a SSD.

since there also only 1TB harddrives there also not likely using the new WD format, so i really cant see how alignment would change anything at all.
 
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#14
windows 7 should align any partition correctly the first time.... before you instal windows, i dont see how that could affect anything since its not a SSD.
yup thats correct, but maybe not always, i use Paragon alignment tool and it still report misalignment right after i install windows.

http://www.paragon-software.com/landing-pages/WhitePapers/paragon_alignment_tool.html

i have the tool when they promoted it for free last june, i dont know any alternative free software for it.
 
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#15
well give him a link to the software and some easy instructions how he can first check if there is a problem with the alignment and then how he can fix it.


EDIT
i found a portable version of the paragon software alignment tool in my random utility downloads folder witch is pretty straight forward to use, it will check the alignment of the partitions first then ask what you want to do.

heres a link to the file. you can run total virus on it to double check, i uploaded it myself and scaned it first so it should be fine.
http://www.mediafire.com/?qji4c9fejqii7bq



disclaimer :p
now this tool could compleatly break the partition on the raid0 setup... so make sure there is nothing on it that you dont want to lose.
 
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NinjaNife

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#16
well give him a link to the software and some easy instructions how he can first check if there is a problem with the alignment and then how he can fix it.


EDIT
i found a portable version of the paragon software alignment tool in my random utility downloads folder witch is pretty straight forward to use, it will check the alignment of the partitions first then ask what you want to do.

heres a link to the file. you can run total virus on it to double check, i uploaded it myself and scaned it first so it should be fine.
http://www.mediafire.com/?qji4c9fejqii7bq



disclaimer :p
now this tool could compleatly break the partition on the raid0 setup... so make sure there is nothing on it that you dont want to lose.

Got it thanks. I ran the analyzer and it didn't find anything on the main drive, but I will keep looking. I did have some weird error that caused Windows to stop booting, but Startup Repair fixed that (although it deleted AVG 2011 and the Paragon tool). I will monitor it for a few days to make sure it is stable again. Thanks for the help guys.
 
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#17
i was use 128bit with my old 2x 500g wd blue, now i try SSD it's great in boot speed